Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My secret weapon: Smoothies

Smoothies are my latest favorite thing.  Full of healthy stuff, refreshing after a run, etc, etc....

I am guzzling them down almost daily ... and so are Carter and Chloe.  The best part is I am getting them to drink down - wait for it - SPINACH! Yup, spinach in a smoothie, folks.

The nice thing about smoothies is that you can just add whatever you have on hand.  Here is my "go-to" recipe:
 SPINACH, frozen fruit, a banana, yogurt, juice/almond milk, and ground flaxseeds
First I puree the spinach with some liquid - because really - does anyone want green floaties in their smoothie? This way you can be sure the spinach is totally liquified.  (Plus then the kids won't be on to your tricks!) 
You can use juice, milk, almond/soy/rice milk, even just water.  Whatever floats your boat.  
And as you can see, you do not need the latest, greatest blender or "smoothie maker" they sell to make a good smoothie!  This blender was Chad's from before we got married -11 years ago-and it still kicks butt when it comes to blending....so in our kitchen it stays.
 You can then add the rest of the ingredients....finish with a liquid....press puree... and presto -  a smoothie!  I love that you can just add whatever you have on hand.  I think the key is to have something frozen, a "thickener" like yogurt or banana, and a liquid.  If it's too thick, just add more liquid. 

Anyhow, I just have to add a few comments here about healthy stuff in general. 

I am really glad I decided to train for this race in May.  Not because I particularly enjoy running, although I am enjoying it more and more. But I have learned some things that I would not have learned otherwise:

1.  Having an exercise challenge can actually make exercise almost fun.  I will admit - I rarely WANT to go to the Y to exercise....and almost every time I have scheduled to go, I WANT to wimp out.  I think I'm too tired, or that I should do something else "important".....but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I go, I leave feeling good.  And proud of myself.  And surprising myself at how I've improved even!  It also helps that they have child care there that costs me $1 per hour. :)  A little time to myself is always a plus.  But I have learned that I can't leave it to chance, and I can't make it optional.  I put it on the calendar, and I make myself go.  It's like a little appointment.

2.  Since I have been exercising more regularly, I am eating better.  Because of course- who wants to come home after a good workout and then fill yourself with donuts?   I have ended up eating in a more deliberate and healthful way.  And THIS is what REALLY surprised me:  I actually don't crave junk food very much lately.  Like - it doesn't even look very good at all.  

True confession:  I have always been a bit of a junk food junkie.  I have been able to eat bad-for-you foods for most of my life without having it affect my weight or general well-being, but I think those days are numbered.  The scale has slowly been creeping up after each baby's arrival, and while I am not "overweight" - I know that I have not been eating WELL.  So I don't deprive myself of anything I love, I just eat a little bit of it.  And then I try to make my meals full of more fruits and vegetables and less of what is unhealthy.  I don't count calories or points or anything.  I can't do all that, it would drive me insane.  I just try to put more "good stuff" in.... and leave more "bad stuff" out.

My goal in doing all this?  Besides the obvious - my general health - I hope to stay actively involved in my kids' lives... and someday I want to be fully involved with my grandchildren if God gives them to me.  I am someone who will not be a "young" grandma (at least I better not be too young!) because I had my children in my 30's.  In fact, I was 37 when Chloe was born so even if she has her first baby as early as 25 I will be 62 already.  If I can help it, I don't want to be the grandma who sits in the wheelchair and watches on the sidelines....I want to be on the floor playing with them and going on trips with them and chasing them around the yard!

So with God's help I am trying to maintain a more healthy lifestyle.  It is hard for me to write this on a blog because now it is in black and white and I am accountable to whomever reads this!  But I hope it will not just be a temporary thing but a true lifestyle change. 

Now if I could just get rid of these shin splints.... ;)

1 comment:

nateandkatesmom said...

Good for you Amy!! I'll have to try the spinach in my smoothie. never added that before. You may have even inspired me to exercise a little!